Friday, September 9, 2011

Egyptian Mob Storm and Loot Israeli Embassy

Angry Egyptian demonstrators ransacked the Israeli embassy in Cairo, looting anything they could grab including files and torching Cairo police cars that were sent there to protect the building, CNN reported.

Israeli diplomats had long cleared out, fearing such an attack after Israeli Defense Forces killed five Eqyptian soldiers last month when Sinai gunmen launched an attack on Isreali settlers.

President Obama spoke by phone with Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu today expressing his "great concern about the situation at the Embassy, and the security of the Israelis serving there," a White House statement said.

"(Obama) reviewed the steps that the U.S. is taking at all levels to help resolve the situation without further violence, and to call on the Government of Egypt to honor its international obligations to safeguard the security of the Israeli Embassy," the statement said.

In the West Bank, Jewish hardliners this week attacked mosques in two separate Palestinian villages. The Israeli and U.S. governments condemned those attacks as provocative incidents meant to trigger more violence in that powder-keg of a region.

The U.S also called on Turkish and Israeli officials to tone down the fiery rhetoric between those two erstwhile allies over a humanitarian aid flotilla destined for Gaza. Turkey expelled Israel's ambassador and vowed to send Turkish warships along with the next flotilla to protect the humanitarian mission.

Israel and Turkey have long been silent partners, but that relationship has deteriorated since Israeli commandos last year boarded a Turkish ship carrying humanitarian aid for Gaza, killing nine civilian passengers.

Netanyahu has refused to apologize for the massacre on the Turkish ship.

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